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Publisher's Summary

In this new, revised edition of Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-for-TV Band, author Eric Lefcowitz follows the fascinating story of Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and the late Davy Jones to the present day, with an insightful new foreword by magician Penn Jillette. 

If you don't believe the Monkees were one of the most influential forces in the history of entertainment, this new group's critically-hailed biography will make a believer out of you. Lefcowitz chronicles the kaleidoscopic journey of the four Monkees, together and apart, from 1965 to the present day, and their role in pioneering music video. With hits like I'm a Believer and Daydream Believer still winning loyal fans generations later, the Monkees have become an American entertainment institution. This is the definitive biography of a rock and roll legend.

©2011, 2013 Eric Lefcowitz (P)2019 Eric Lefcowitz

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The best part of the book is the last third.

This book goes from the beginning of the Monkees to the death of Davy Jones. If you know the story of the beginning of the Monkees. throughout the television series Car parts, okay, but the best part is the last third when it talks about their struggles. , the reunions and multiple other reunions to the death of Davy Jones. What's most interesting is the relationships between the four.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly Good, Save For The Narration

I was ten years old in 1967 and, like many people, besotted with the Beatles. I didn't live in America at the time and didn't have TV where I lived—but I couldn't avoid hearing about the Monkees. When I got to see their TV show, in 1967, I was mildly amused but their music didn't interest me at all.

Flash forward to today and I watched an episode of Behind the Music about the Monkees and became re-interested enough to pick up this book.

I had vaguely followed the trajectory of the Monkees, especially hearing about Mike Nesmith and his various adventures, but most of what happened to them I was ignorant of.

I expected this book to be a little like the Monkees—shallow, glib, but also mildly entertaining. Instead I found some wry wit and some dead-on observations about what it was like to live at that time—the Summer of Love and all the accompanying hoopla, with a behind-the-scenes look at how the Monkees came into existence—I had known the story but not the details—and how they crested, peaked and burned out.

The author makes a brief reference to "a colleague" named Shawn Levy, whose book on Jerry Lewis I found amazing and stunning in its intense look at Lewis and his life, and I see that Levy's style is shared by Lefcowitz. Namely, very, very well put together and not at all shallow or glib; watch this author, because he's going to go far, if he hasn't already.

The narrator, however, I can live without. His reading is a little too glib—there's that word again—and a little too "urban/Southern drawl" for my tastes. He mangles words such as "congruent" and makes the typical mistake of "coup de gras," which means "hit of fat" instead of "coup de grâce" among others; it's not a dealbreaker but it is a flaw. I probably wouldn't buy another book narrated by this reader.

All in all, you don't have to be a Monkees fan in order to like this book—indeed, you probably don't WANT to be a Monkees fan, because of all the myths that get shattered herein, but fan or not, this is a book well worth paying for.

(One very odd postscript: the author has divided this book into a multitude of very short chapters; I'm probably only about two-thirds through the book and it's somewhere in the neighbourhood of Chapter 60.)

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Some good facts and background. Book is too long.

Good book but a bit too long. could have used a good editor. good facts and background if you are a Monkee Fan.

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  • Stuart. G
  • 05-04-21

Good overview of Monkees story

A well told story that could have done without the terrible attempt at an English accent when quoting Davy Jones. The narration was otherwise fine and the story covered all of the important subjects.

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  • Mr. T. Walters
  • 07-30-20

A Good Audio Book

I truly love the Monkees music. An excellent well-written book. Competently narrated for audio.